I have a very good, close friend. I’ll call him Mordechai. We met as part of a D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) group that was formed by a mutual friend. About a year into our friendship, he started dating this woman, I’ll call her Siobhan. Upon first meeting her at a biweekly game session, I cordially introduced myself and shook hands with her, as I genuinely wanted to get to know her. She gave me a sweet smile and we traded jokes back and forth throughout the night as the game dragged on; I figured I may have found a new friend in Siobhan.
All was not well with the two though, it seemed. A few months pass. Another mutual friend, who here I’ll call Phelan, kept telling me of fights the two were having and how they were starting to fall apart. Apparently the chemistry between the two fizzled. But the next week? Siobhan and Mordechai were side by side with one another, though the warmth I saw between them the night I met her was all but gone. I figured they were simply trying to work things out and said nothing of the matter, though it was awkward trying to talk to him (about game matters) while she was still in the room.
Eventually, the two broke up, but I kept things friendly with Siobhan through Facebook (birthday wishes and the like), and even bought her a set of glow-in-the-dark dice for Christmas; not the cheapo stuff either, but imported, tough dice that wouldn’t chip or fade. Mordechai informed me that she greatly appreciated the dice. Siobhan and Mordechai may have broken up, but they tried to keep something resembling friendship; didn’t last long. Whatever chemistry they had simply disappeared.
Siobhan is renowned within parts of this shared social circle (and the metro area, if rumors are to be believed) for throwing grand Halloween parties every year. A few weeks before Halloween, the notice goes up on Facebook, and she says in big bold letters “ALL MY FRIENDS ARE INVITED!” As one of her friends on Facebook, I got to see it within a half hour of it going up. Seeing that a good chunk of mutual friends would be attending, and hearing through Phelan (who knew her better than the rest of us, Mordechai excluded) that she would likely be okay with me coming, I RSVPed as well, a few days later though. At this point, I simply wanted to get to know Siobhan on her own merits, as opposed to getting to know her as a girlfriend of a close friend. I hear nothing from Siobhan about my RSVP.
Admittedly, I slack off a bit and I remember the next part of the event notice only a day or two before the party: “Call/message/txt for directions!” Not knowing her cell or any other means of communicating with her, I ask for directions to the party through a FB message. My mail notifier goes off a few hours later and this is what greets me:
“Jessica sweetie, you do know that I broke up with Mordechai, right? I don’t think it would be good for either of us if you were to come. Sooooooo sorry.”
I need my mother’s help in getting my jaw off the floor. When I go to reply to both a.) explain myself, and b.) apologize for possibly inconveniencing her, I notice that she a.) removed the “ALL MY FRIENDS” line from the event, b.) made the event private, and c.) de-friended me. In hindsight, good riddance to bad rubbish and all, but at the time, I was extremely hurt, and my Halloween plans were all but dashed. Another night of watching football and eating leftover candy, though my better half made it all right again with some macabre romantics that, for one night, made me forget about Siobhan.
When I brought it up with Mordechai, he was appalled at what happened and kept apologizing for the actions of a grown-@$$ woman. Phelan admitted to me at a later time that her behavior in the incident was par for the course, when he wondered why I wasn’t at this party, my RSVP having gone unchallenged until 24-48 hours before said party would start.
I only feel sad for Siobhan that she seems to have enough friends in her life. As for me, whenever I plan a party or big gathering using Facebook (the only way to keep in touch with some of my sometimes phone-less friends), I do so through private messages intended only for the invited and never through the “event” app, not even private. Last I heard of Siobhan, she was courting a woman and extremely unhappy with life, and for some reason she started losing friends. Hmmm. 0104-11
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I think most people have a hierarchy of Facebook friends (unless they keep their list to a bare minimum), with inner circle capital-F Friends, and everyone fanning out from there in concentric circles. On the outside of the circle would be people such as Great-Aunt Fran you’ve met once or twice, and that creepy guy from work whose request you accepted so as not to cause awkwardness.
The way I generally interpret facebook “invites” such as Siobhan’s is, “All my Inner Circle Friends are invited.” Unfortunately two people may have differing ideas of how important their relationship is, so these types of “invites” invite misinterpretation by wishful-thinkers such as the OP (as well as calling attention to the Facebook friend hierachy in a way which is rather gauche). But there is nothing in this tale to suggest that the OP was anything to Siobhan other than a Facebook friend/RL acquaintance, so in the absence of an explicit “All my FACEBOOK friends are invited,” I find it to be a bit of a faux pas for the OP to essentially invite herself, without getting confirmation from Siobhan herself.
And as other commenters have noted, I am sympathetic – it sucks to have unrequited feelings, even friendly ones, especially when there’s no obvious reason for it. But the harsh reality is that anyone can decide to be or not to be your friend, for any number of reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with that, even if it can be disappointing and feels unfair.
Regarding the courting a woman comment – I took the use of the word courting as just an expression of the OP’s, shall we say, sense of whimsy (ie naming people Mordecai and Siobhan rather than Bob and Jan). I further would argue that the inclusion of the detail about gender IS offensive, simply for the reason that the context for this story is a society where homosexual unions have been, and are still, persecuted and frowned upon. If she had been “courting” a man, no such context would exist and I doubt whether the detail would have even been included. And relating this detail in a sentence about how crappy Siobhan’s life is now makes it clear that the detail was meant to be pejorative. As a bisexual woman that last sentence made it difficult for me to retain any compassion I might have felt for the OP.
@Miss Merlot – Totally agreed with your flip side!
To be honest, whilst I am a little confused as to the relevance of the final paragraph, I do think Siobhan has shown extremely poor form here.
Facebook cannot be blamed for people’s lack of social graces although its immediacy does seem to encourage all sorts of errors in judgement these days, such as the rash issuing of blanket invitations.
For goodness sakes, if you insist on issuing invitations via social media, expect some of your “friends” to come who you’d perhaps rather they didn’t & Siobhan’s awkward retraction of said invitation because of her own error in judgement is both mean and hurtful.
OP, you need to chalk this one up to “these things happen” and not take it personally. You are obviously a caring giving friend whom I’m sure the rest of your circle are more appreciative of.
Why is it so strange that there might be two reasons she is losing friends? She might be losing friends because she herself is not a good friend. And she might be losing friends who do not want to be around her while she dates a woman rather than a man. As to the retraction of the invitation, that was an etiquette faux pas. If she put it out there, even on FB, she shouldn’t take it back.
@Abby–I like Amy Farrah Fowler. She’s very intelligent, she’s kind, and she’s always honest, straightforward, and very sincere. She literally doesn’t know what to make of it when others are deceitful, because that kind of behaviour just isn’t on her radar screen.
@Fizzychip–I agree. I liken mass invitations on Facebook, when there are other (politer, more private) ways to contact people, to attempting to paint details with a wide brush, even if you have a whole set of different sizes of paintbrushes right at your disposal. Either way, something is going to get messed up.
Wow. I must be socially clueless. I didn’t read any overzealous pursuit of friendship or “stalker-like” behavior in the submission. Now that I’ve read the comments, I understand where other posters are coming from. Re-reading the story, I do see how it appears that Siobhan never reciprocated Jessica’s overtures of friendship. I feel educated now, and I hope I’ll be aware enough not to be too pushy, myself.
My first thought was that Siobhan was jealous of Jessica/OP’s relationship with Mordechai and she felt threatened by her, and that’s what caused the fights between Siobhan and Mordechai. It doesn’t explain why Siobhan would be FB friends with Jessica, if that was the case, but stranger things have happened. Being jealous of Jessica would explain Siobhan’s poor treatment of her over the Halloween party, though. Just my two cents.
I disagree, Spike. If Siobhan wanted to invite only certain of her Facebook friends then she should’t have issued a mass invitation on Facebook. If you want specific people only to attend, then you invite each of those people and no one else.
To be honest I’m not a big fan of Facebook because instant media makes it much easier to commit a social faux pas that hurts other peoples’ feelings. It’s too easy to send something out to mobs of people at the click of a button without much thought. If you do that often, at least some of those times you are going to make mistakes.
I feel I need to take issue with the some of the interpretations of the ‘exepnsive’ gift. Many dice are indeed ‘cheapo’ – I could pick up an entire 7-die set for a few pounds at my local game shop. LW may just have felt the need to mention that she’d gone to a little bit more trouble than that, and she probably spent somewhere in the region of $20. Whether that’s enough to be creepy in this case… a matter of opinion, I guess. If Siobhan’s affluent enough to throw grand Halloween parties, it’s possible she didn’t see it as a big deal.
OP, to accept a general facebook and then be dis-invited was humiliating and rude. No question about that. But I think you have been misreading some of the social cues Siobhan was giving you. It sounds as though she was politely friendly to you and nothing more – you do not mention ever once getting together with her for coffee, or a movie, or even having an email chat or phone conversation. There are plenty of people on my facebook friends list that I would not consider true friends – they are simply old social contacts, friends of friends, etc. Saying “Happy Birthday” because facebook reminds you to do so is not the same as truly knowing someone. It sounds like you and Siobhan had different ideas of your relationship and she has no interest in pursuing a friendship of any kind. Look at it this way…better to have it happen in a private message than in public. Sorry OP 🙁
“Siobhan and Mordechai date for several months broke up then OP gave Siobhan A Christmas gift. So what happened last Halloween? Either Mordechai and Siobhan had would have been dating for months when last years party happened or more recently broken up. IF OP wasn’t invited to that party why would she be invited to this one when they’re acquaintance had become even more tenuous. ”
Interesting point. I took it to mean Siobhan and Mordechai were dating year one, had broken up by Christmas of year one, but were still on friendly enough terms that Mordechai could deliver a present from OP, and OP and Siobhan continued to “talk” via Facebook (ie, OP most likely ‘liking’ Siobhan pictures and wishing her a happy birthday) throughout Year 2, until Halloween came around. So yeah, I took it as by the time this went down, Siobhan had been an ex for close to a year or more, and the OP’s interactions with her were limited to facebook and third party gossip from Phelan.
I agree that Siobhan wrote “All my friends” meaning everyone she actually considered a friend, not everyone that made up her Facebook friends list, but I don’t think it’s cool to post something like that publicly and leave it open to interpretation which side each person falls on, only to be harshly corrected. It could be chalked up though, to simple thoughtlessness, as opposed to being intentionally malicious, and could be forgiven.
What I don’t think can be chalked up to thoughtlessness though, was Siobhan’s rather mean spirited message to OP. I’ll give her a pass on the timing- perhaps she truly wasn’t aware OP had RSVP’d days or weeks earlier- if a lot of people RSVPd at the same time, perhaps OP got lost in the shuffle. But if for some reason the OP’s company is just so insufferable that Siobhan can’t stand to be in the room for her- with plenty of other guests/mutual friends serving as buffers- for one evening, there are far nicer ways to deliver that message.
From her super condescending “Jessica, sweetie…” to her absurd apology “sooooo sorry” was bad enough, but what really stood out to me was her comment about it not being good for her if a friend of her ex comes. Since Phelan and other mutual friends were going, that clearly can’t be the problem. I think the implication here is, now that I am not with Mordechai, I no longer have to tolerate your company or pretend to be nice to you. It just seemed cruel to me.
@Lakey, I completely agree with you. What I should have explained more clearly is that not everyone would interpret the “invite” as I would, that’s why these mass invitations are a bad idea.
@Anonymous, it’s nice that you like Amy Farrah Fowler (as do I), but I don’t see what that had to do with Abby’s post. She wasn’t commenting on the likeability of that character, but the obsessive dynamic between Amy and Penny.
I agree with the posts that say OP “fan-girl”ed Siobhan. While I agree that Siobhan didn’t handle the situation well, as someone who has both been a fan-girl of someone and someone who has been fan-girled, I know how awkward this can be.
I took Siobhan’s replay of “Jessica sweetie, you do know that I broke up with Mordechai, right? I don’t think it would be good for either of us if you were to come. Sooooooo sorry.” to be her misguided attempt to be polite. It’s possible that what she really meant was, “Jessica, I’ve met you, like, twice. We chatted a bit and you were way too forward and excited about it. You buy me an expensive present, you keep posting to my FB and I never post on your page. What is it gonna take for you to get the hint that I’m not interested in being friends?”
I’m not excusing Siobhan’s behavior, she was handled it awkardly and was rude. Plus, I wholeheartedly agree that she shouldn’t have sent a blanket invite on FB to a party if she didn’t intend to invite everyone. And if everyone BUT OP was invited because Siobhan felt uncomfortable with OP, then she should have unfriended OP before this.
To the posters who have made comments about not being able to be friends with an friend’s ex, please note that OP and Siobhan were NOT friends before the breakup. They only met once or twice. Siobhan didn’t drop OP, she obviously wasn’t interested in starting a new friendship with this particular friend of her ex. If she had been interested in pursuing a friendship with OP, it would have started long before the Halloween incident.
The one thing that really sticks in my craw (vicariously), is the fact that Siobhan waited until a day or two before the Halloween party to disinvite the OP. That, plus the insincere, obsequious, “Sooooo sorry,” and “Sweetie” nonsense, leads me to believe that Siobhan did this on purpose, so she could enjoy the schaudenfreude of knowing that the OP wouldn’t likely be able to make new plans for Halloween, and would therefore end up staying home. I don’t know why she’d feel this way, but some people are just jerks. That’s why I really liked Cat’s line about, “Oh, good, I had two parties to attend, and wasn’t sure how I’d make the other one, but I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
To all commenting on the “oddity” of the names used in this submission:
OP is talking about a D&D group. She’s probably using the names of each player’s character.
To the OP:
Some people just aren’t interested in being friends, and they don’t know how to be polite about it. It’s also possible that you came on too strong or presumed too much intimacy for the other girl’s taste. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly with people you’ve just met, but the friendliness has to be balanced with an awareness of not presuming more familiarity than is warranted.
And, to be honest, if someone doesn’t return your overtures of friendship (repeatedly!), at some point it’s better for your peace of mind to stop offering them.
I agree with the others that the OP is over-invested in what is simply a non-relationship with Siobhan. It’s telling that there is no mention of Siobhan ever communicating directly with the OP (even after the RSVP over Facebook). I have to wonder if the Siobhan even remembered the OP was on her ‘friend’ list.
While I wouldn’t necessarily call the ‘courting a woman’ comment homophobic in and of itself, I interpreted it to be a not so subtle dig and implication that Siobhan’s relationship with Mordechai wasn’t ‘real’ because she really was a lesbian and didn’t know it. Honestly, from the account I would expect either all three people involved are young teenagers, or that the OP has a crush on Siobhan, wants to befriend her to up her own social status or has a crush on Mordechai that is not reciprocated. The attempt to build a friendship on this flimsy an acquaintance, particularly after a quick break up, is frankly creepy. (Christmas presents? Really? Did Mordechai get anything from OP?)
I’m stuck on the dice. It’s such an unusual gift to give or get. I can’t, for the life of me, remember ever thinking, “Wow, I need some dice!” Let alone glow-in-the-dark dice. I wish the OP had mentioned how she came up with dice as a good idea for a gift. Did Siobhan mention liking/wanting dice on Facebook or in their conversations? Because if so, then I understand why the OP picked dice as a gift (but not why she felt the need to get one). But if the OP decided to make dice a gift for no other reason than the fact that the OP herself likes dice, then I think that says something about the OP’s personality and perhaps explains why the situation happened. Assuming Siobhan would like dice because the OP likes dice is analogous to assuming Siobhan would want to be friends just because the OP wanted to be friends.
This line gave me pause: “… though my better half made it all right again with some macabre romantics that, for one night, made me forget about Siobhan.” OP, for your own sake, let it go. I think you both share responsibility for the miscommunication.
Katie – OP met Siobhan in the context of playing Dungeons & Dragons; playing D&D requires a variety of different kinds of dice (20 sided, 12 sided, 8 sided, etc). You can buy sets of these dice at gaming stores, and some of the nicer ones can be pricey. I’m assuming that’s what she got her. Actually a pretty good gift for someone you play D&D with, though I agree it might have been too forward in this case.
@Katie–The OP’s social circle is really into Dungeons and Dragons, so dice is a perfectly normal gift for them, even if it seems strange to others. It’s no different than, say, my mom giving my (golf-obsessed) dad a new putter for his birthday.
OP met Siobhan in a Dungeons & Dragons group. The game uses dice for game play. Akin to meeting someone in a country club and buying them a new driver for their birthday.
In DND And Table Top RPG’S Players play with Dice, she got her a gift that represented a hobby that they BOTH liked, hence why the EX was coming to the DND meetings?
You know Twelve sided die and the like, not regular ol dice you get from a board game.
The OP, Mordechai, and Siobhan all play Dungeons & Dragons. In this game, you need dice. Lots of dice, and different kinds of dice. Furthermore, alot of players of this game collect all kinds of cool and interecting dice.
I have seen people with bags full of colorful and awesome dice.
So really, it’s not an unusual gift at all! It’s pretty much common sense to gift a D&D player some dice. You know it will be used and appreciated.
“Siobhan and Mordechai date for several months broke up then OP gave Siobhan A Christmas gift. So what happened last Halloween? Either Mordechai and Siobhan had would have been dating for months when last years party happened or more recently broken up. IF OP wasn’t invited to that party why would she be invited to this one when they’re acquaintance had become even more tenuous. ”
“Interesting point. I took it to mean Siobhan and Mordechai were dating year one, had broken up by Christmas of year one, but were still on friendly enough terms that Mordechai could deliver a present from OP, and OP and Siobhan continued to “talk” via Facebook……….”
Thats what I meant the Halloween party in year one. Sioban has the party every year, its “famous” in OP circle, OP obviously didn’t go to the party year one. How did OP an Sioban get closer since the party year one.
I see the facebook mass invite sort of like being at a party talking to a group of people surrounded by other groups of people. “you all should come to my party!” everyone’s in the same room and mingling but at that moment you’re only talking to the people right in front of you. Then someone shouts from the kitchen “I’m Comming!!”. Siobhan created the awkward situation by making a private announcement in public and by not replying to the RSVP but unless there is a lot of missing information OP may be have a few things to learn about social cues.
RE the dice. Because Siobhan went to 2 D&D nights with her BF over a few months doesn’t mean she plays , she may but she may not. A $20-$40 gift for an acquaintance you spoke to twice and that we assume had to be sent via a 3rd person, is a lot of gift in proportion to the relationship to the vast majority of people. IF OP gave everyone in the D&D group a gift (since she spent 26 evenings with them we assume a nicer gift) and all of their GF/BFs and ex GF/BFs who attended 2 game nights dice then it would not be at all strange, singling Siobhan out would be pretty uncomfortable.
The OP mentions posting on Siobhan’s FB page, but never mentioned if Siobhan also kept up with her via Facebook. The way to make friends is by being friendly and it sounds as if the OP was making an effort with Siobhan. However, if Siobhan fails to respond to a few friendly gestures, then it seems the friendship is one sided and the OP should not have pursued it. If OP posted on her wall everyday, that would be a bit creepy, but if it was limited to a few status likes and comments over the course of a long period of time then I don’t see that as creepy.
I do feel Siobhan was rude for the letter she sent to the OP. When she posted ‘all my friends’ are invited, the interpretation of the word ‘friend’ might have a lot of different meanings for different people. I really think she should have just sucked it up and allowed the OP to come. It seems like she has a big party with a lot of people so I don’t think one person she didn’t particularly want there would make a difference. Hopefully next time she will pare down her facebook friends list before posting a public announcement or will limit the invitation to those she wants at the party.
Siobhan behaved thoughtlessly and even hurtfully, but I think there is a clue in the gigantically long submission to describe something that could have been written in a short paragraph…did we need all the insignificant details? It points to someone who is a tad obsessive, and therefore open to being hurt by this kind of thing. Siobhan is clearly not interested-build a bridge and get over it. You should not have to chase people who are genuinely interested in your company, and giving gifts that don’t reflect the level of friendship looks a bit desperate to some people, despite OP’s good intentions. Maybe just part of learning appropriate social boundaries in future (for both of them). We have all been there in one way or another, don’t sweat it any more, OP.
P.S., I think “grown-a$$ woman” was Mordechai’s wording, not the OP’s.
I’m giggling to myself at so many people mentioning the creative and unusual names just because here in Ireland, Siobhan is an extremely common name so it sounds so normal to me next to the other two names being really unusual.
Siobhan was rude. She was rude for posting an open invite on her status and leaving her party open to public. She was rude for not thanking OP for the Christmas gift. And she was especially rude for the tone of the message: “Sweetie” =rude, “you know this, right?” = rude, “soooooo” = rude.
Having said all this, perhaps she felt being rude was the only way left to get the message across that she doesn’t want a friendship with the OP. Perhaps she was being coolly polite but then the Christmas present came and she thought “okay, this is a bit odd, I don’t want to encourage her so I’ll just say nothing”.
Maybe when the OP clicked “attending” on the event (that she wasn’t actually invited to by the way, if she was, she would have gotten a notification saying “Siobhan has invited you to her event”) that’s when she should have said something but maybe she decided to continue with ignoring being the best course of action as she’s not good with confrontation or something? Or maybe she just didn’t notice the OPs attending status among so many others. Or maybe she thought, oh sure no harm in her coming but when asked for her address she thought “this person is not taking the hint that I don’t want to be friends, I’m not so sure I want her to know my address”.
So just maybe Siobhan felt rudeness was her best course of action as subtly discouraging the OPs friendly advances weren’t working.
Siobhán was rude. OP seems to have some difficulty picking up social cues. Noone was perfect here.
This kind of reminds me of something that happened to me many years ago, before the lovely invention of Facebook. I was involved with a (pretty clique-ish) dance group, and one day during a company-wide rehearsal, one of the senior members stood up and announced that EVERYONE in the company was invited to his Fourth of July pool party, and that is would be on this date, at that time, so everyone mark their calendars, an e-mail would be forthcoming with details on how to get to his house, etc, etc. A week went by, and some of the team members who admittedly weren’t that close to this guy (including myself) hadn’t received an e-mail. Meanwhile, others who already had the information were telling the guy (and everyone else in the company within earshot) how excited they were about his upcoming party. Finally, as the day approached, I awkwardly mentioned to the guy that I hadn’t received an e-mail about his party yet — should I just get directions to his house from him directly? He brushed me off and told me to check my email’s “junk” folder, maybe his message had wound up there? (Ummm, not likely.)
To make a long story short, the day came and went, and I never received any correspondence from the guy regarding his party. I’m not sure how comfortable I would have been there, anyway, so I didn’t ask him about it further. On the evening it was supposed to take place, I went instead to an outdoor concert/dance party which was open to the public, and I happened to run into some of my friends from the dance troupe. I chuckled and said, “So I guess you never got an e-mail for the pool party, either?” and they just rolled their eyes and smiled. One of them said, “Please — I’m not going to BEG someone to invite me to their party. He obviously didn’t want us there, and I have better things to do with my time.”
Of course my friend was right, but even now I have to wonder what kind of grown adult has to advertise his personal business to the world, especially if it’s for such an “exclusive” event.
At any rate, I was wise not to push for an invitation from this jerk, and opted instead to attend an event where everyone was welcome. My friends and I all had a great time that night, dancing until the wee hours of the morning.
@Niamh: Glad I’m not the only one who caught that. Granted, I’m American, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen the name Siobhan. If I recall correctly, it’s pronounced Shee-vahn, right?
@Politrix, yeah that was rude. I’ll give him the slight benefit of the doubt that maybe he intended to invite everyone, did the math on how much that would cost, and created an A list that actually got invitations and didn’t have the nerve to tell you to your face that you weren’t on the A list.
In this case, it sounds like Siobhan created a public event-that anyone can click “join”, even if they’re not even friends with her- and the post that all friends were invited was a regular status update. In that case, even though Siobhan was rude to post about it when some people who would see it were not welcome, OP truly wasn’t “invited”. She made the assumption that as a facebook friend she was included, and she was harshly corrected.
I do wonder if the posters who say Siobhan was cruel to be kind are onto something. I still think the message was rude and mean spirited, but maybe Siobhan felt that anything gentler would just encourage OP to keep making friendly overtures that Siobhan did not want.
For those who are wondering why some of us are interpreting the OPs last line as homophobic, it’s to do with context:
“Last I heard of Siobhan, she was courting a woman and extremely unhappy with life, and for some reason she started losing friends.”
The last two statements- unhappy with life, losing friends- are negatives. The OP is pointing out the negative things that are going on with Siobhan at the moment. Since ‘courting’ to me doesn’t mean ‘unsuccessfully chasing’ but, rather, ‘dating’, to me, given the surrounding context, this reads that the OP considers dating a woman to be a negative.
In which case, the OP comes off as homophobic.
Until I read that line, I was feeling sympathy for the OP- I think we all can relate to the disappointment of liking someone more than they like us, and the horrible feeling that our friendship isn’t valued. Having read the last line, and getting a whiff of homophobia, I immediately started to wonder if, perhaps, the OP had let some of that homophobia show in her limited interactions with Siobhan. I can’t say I’d encourage a friendship with someone who showed such opinions.
@Timothy: Siobhán – as it’s more accurately spelled, accents are important – is closer to Shuh’vawn or Shoe’awn depending on dialect.
(To explain there is traditionally no ‘v’ in the Irish language, so the ‘bh’ often gives that sound. Á – a with an accent – is the “aww” sound. ) hope that helps 🙂
The name Phelan is also common here, but exclusively as a surname.
I hadn’t thought of that — but looking back at it now, you’re probably right. I guess I took it too personally (they WERE kinda clique-y) but in hindsight I think that’s exactly what happened. And this was BEFORE the era of social media! 😀
@FerrisW–I took “courting” to mean “unsuccessfully chasing” (otherwise the OP would have said “dating”), so my take was, no homophobia, just a report of karma showing Siobhan that being cliquey and rude is going to lose you friends.
@Timothy: Yep, exactly what AIP said re: Siobhán – pronounced Shuh’vawn (though I’ve never heard it pronounced Shoe’awn. I’d be curious to know where it’s pronounced like that). ‘mh’ also makes a ‘v’ in Irish, like in my name 🙂
I’m also hoping that by “courting” the OP meant pursuing unsuccessfully because if she means dating then she definitely comes off as homophobic.
Siobhan belongs in ehell for the mass invite followed by the rude and patronizing disinvite.
Perhaps OP’s remark about Siobhan’s “courting a woman” was meant to imply that Siobhan is still figuring out things for herself in life and is generally unhappy. Just a thought.
Why all the interest in the use of names here? For crying out loud, “Mordecai” is in the Bible, and “Phelan” is the last name of the girl in “The Help.” I once had a student named Siobahn, and that was a part of the US, in the South, where “Bubba” is pretty commonplace.
@Ergala, well done! I think this is a great insight on how the other side of the story might have gone.
Sorry, I think I wrote Ergala last time… I meant to praise Miss Merlot’s comment instead
Siobhan’s careless handling of the situation aside, how is her “courting” another woman, as well as “unhappiness”, relevant? Who can judge someone else’s unhappiness, anyhow? I’m sure OP went well, but her actions (especially the purchase of the present) came off very awkward and creepy. I would have to argue with Miss Merlot’s interpretation of the situation here.
@AIP and Niamh: Thanks for the correction. I would have typed the accent marks, but I only recently learned how to do so, and I’m still uncomfortable with it. Also, I have seen Phelan before, but funnily enough, only as a first name. There’s a reviewer on a website I watch who’s real name is Phelan Porteous.
Back on topic, I thought I’d weigh in on the “courting a woman” controversy. I don’t think the OP was being intentionally homophobic towards Siobhàn. It’s possible she just views Siobhàn as being confused, unsure of even her own sexuality. However, placing the “courting a woman” in the same category of the other choices was a bad placement, since it implies that that is part of the reason her life isn’t very good right now.
About the names, yeah, “Siobhan” isn’t that uncommon. I knew one in my drama class when I was in grade ten, and I also “knew” another one from a different Internet forum a few years ago. She might even still be on my Facebook, as one of the people I remained in contact with when I left that forum.
Somethings are being left out here, because OP’s story doesn’t add up. OP’s letter reads like someone way too invested in M&S’s relationship, in particular S. She makes sure via a mutual friend it’s going to be “okay” that she attends S’s Halloween party, but has no means of communicating with her short of a FB message. When she finally contacts S directly she’s shocked to find out that S actually does have a problem with OP being around, now that she has broken up with M.
Does that sound like someone who was just interested in a casual friendship with another person? It doesn’t to me. It sounds like there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than we’re being told. OP may be in denial, or completely clueless about much of this. Perhaps a no-holds-barred talk with friend P would be enlightening. I sense the breach of etiquette was more on the part of the OP, than with S.
@ImpossibleGirl–We don’t know that the OP asked Mordechai and Phelan about the discord (and eventual breakup) of Mordechai and Siobhan. My take on it is, OP is friends with Mordechai and Phelan, and they told her about all of that voluntarily. Friends talk, and the OP strikes me as the “girl next door” kind of person, who her guy friends routinely ask for advice with other girls, but don’t see her as potential girlfriend material, because of the depth of their friendship. Anyway, OP might have sincerely wanted to “get to know Siobhan on her own merits,” and for all we know, she gives Christmas gifts to everyone in her social circle–and, since that circle consists largely of Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts, a set of special dice is a perfectly normal gift. But, what I’m trying to say is, even in the absence of the “stalking” behaviour that people keep accusing the OP of (and I think the term is overused by a lot of people), maybe Siobhan is jealous of what the OP has with Mordechai. After all, Siobhan’s romantic relationship with Mordechai blossomed, withered, and died very quickly, and meanwhile, the OP’s platonic relationship with Mordechai is still going strong. I had an experience like that myself.
I had a very close guy friend in university (let’s call him Ed), and about eighteen months after we graduated, he started going out with a girl (let’s call her Lola) who resented my presence in Ed’s life, and actually tried to get him to stop being friends with him (Ed and I were in regular contact via Facebook, etc., as University Town is about a nine hour drive from My Hometown). Anyway, the “stop being friends with Ed” conversation was initiated by Lola via Facebook, and happened without Ed’s knowledge, and when I told him about it later, he got incredibly upset with Lola, and they eventually broke up. Some people might take that to mean that I broke Ed and Lola up, but I really didn’t–Lola was pretty awful, she and Ed were having problems already, and Ed told me that Lola’s treatment of me pretty much solidified his decision to break up with her.
So, I’m thinking that, in the OP’s case, a similar thing must have happened–Siobhan wanted the OP out of the picture, because in her eyes, any longstanding female presence in Mordechai’s life (other than a family member) was a threat to her, Mordechai didn’t agree with this, and they fought and broke up…..meanwhile, the OP was oblivious to all of this (because Mordechai and/or Phelan left out that part of the issue in order to spare the OP’s feelings), and just wanted to be friends with both of them.
Now, I have no desire to be friends with Lola (and only gave her a chance while she was dating Ed, because I wanted to be supportive, in an “any friend of Ed’s is a friend of mine” kind of way), because she showed her true colours to me when she laid the whole “stop being friends with Ed” on me. However, Siobhan never did anything similar to the OP, so she (OP) didn’t feel like she had any reason to cease contact with Siobhan. It’s not “stalking” to try to keep life in your social circle as normal as possible for both parties after a breakup; I’d say it’s caring. Usually, what happens is, when a couple within a larger friend group breaks up, everyone takes sides. Sometimes the group disbands, and other times, the “less popular” former partner gets shunned from the group. It sounds like the OP was just trying to keep everyone together–she considered Siobhan to have joined the group when she began dating Mordechai, and she didn’t see any reason to shun her after the breakup. In the end, Siobhan shunned the OP, but again, I think it’s because she’d always resented the OP’s friendship with Mordechai, and now doesn’t want to deal with the ugly fallout that happened when she wanted, but couldn’t have, Mordechai all to herself.
Anonymous #92: I totally agree with your statement. I didn’t get stalker vibes from this submission, either, but I have a tendency to take posts at face value. I’ve also never been in the kind of situation OP describes, so that colors my reading, too. I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my opinion.